There are times that I simply have to detach from the news and media. Stories of child trafficking, hunger, violence and abuse have a deep effect on me. I can read a story and then be put into a funk for the rest of the day.
The story of the Stanford rape (Brock Turner) and the resulting court case have had a huge impact on me. My heart hurt for the victim, for her family. It also struck a cord as I considered the number of times in my life that this easily could have been a story about me. Maybe, if not me, it could have been a family member or a close friend.
Here is my hope for a positive outcome that can come as a result of such an awful tragedy:
- Talk about it: Let’s talk to our kids about boundaries, about respecting a person’s rights and being respectful of all. If Timmy doesn’t want a hug, then don’t fricking hug Timmy! Respecting small boundaries is a big step towards respecting much larger, obvious boundaries.
- Stop the ever-loving victim shaming: You know what that girl deserved that night? She deserved a hangover. She made choices (Just as I have), that put her in a vulnerable state. There is no shame in the choices she made, there is shame in violating another person and taking something that does not belong to you.
- A reminder that NO one is above the law: I do not care if you are rich, if you are privileged, or if you are entitled. Breaking the law has (or should have) consequences, and no one is above it.
- Parents, let’s not condone terrible behavior: I am the parent of two boys. It is extremely hard to imagine ever being in the position that the father of the Stanford student was. HOWEVER, if (GOD FORBID), my children ever make a terrible life decision, I will not stop loving them, but, I will make sure that they fully accept responsibility for the decisions that they have made. Life is a series of choices and how you respond to those choices can have a lasting impact.
- Stop the objectification of women: Over the years, women have had to fight to be equal. Women are not objects, simply there for a man’s pleasure. Women are equal. Just a guess, but, I do not believe that an individual violates someone that he/she considers to be an equal. This action was (most likely), the catalyst of many other smaller decisions and actions throughout his life. To him, this was not an equal individual to him laying in a vulnerable state, needing assistance. This was an opportunity for easy action.
Obviously, this is a deep topic and I promise I will resume with my happy “Friday Favorites” post tomorrow, I just felt compelled to remind everyone who has been so impacted/touched by this story that there is good that can come from a tragedy like this. Societal shifts are brought about, many times, by a terrible tragedy which brings people together in outrage and results in change.